Karen Matzke

Featured Artist

My history of sewing is a long one.  I first made clothes for my Betsy Wetsy doll by hand when I was probably about eight.  (That’s over three quarters of a century ago!!!) Grandma raised me and also taught me to embroider at about that same age.  Anyone remember the X’s printed on small squares of muslin? Gram thought that the home economics teacher, Mrs. Stephenson, should be the one to teach me to use the sewing machine so my first project was “an apron” in sixth grade home economics.  I loved Home Ec. classes and took them all through high school, finishing with a lined woolen suit. 

Many years later I found Stretch and Sew classes.  Subsequently I ended up teaching Sewing with Knits classes and later represented the company in the Northwest U.S. and Canada.  I have also taught primary grades, worked retail, and then retired after running an Infant-Toddler Child business, The Nurturey, in my home. 

Quilting didn’t enter the picture until I retired, moved to Florida, and met my friend Jettie Minucci.  I admired the awesome quilts that she made, and she offered to share her knowledge.  My Stretch and Sew skill set didn’t transfer well, however.  The importance of an accurate quarter inch seam was the hardest lesson to learn.  But Jet had her trusty little measuring tool that came out often until, finally, the quarter inch became second nature.  We spent many happy hours sewing and “unsewing” at her kitchen table.

In 2009 Jet and I joined the Disconnected Piecers Quilt Guild.  We were welcomed warmly and became avid members.  I entered my first quilt show in 2010 and that was it. I got hooked.  I DID NOT win a ribbon! I’ve had quilts in every show since. 

I’ve made everything from bed-sized quilts to wall hangings, bags, placemats, and table runners.  I’ve tried my hand at appliqués, traditional piecing, and paper-pieced projects.  DPQG makes beautiful ribbons for our shows, and I strive to earn at least one every show.  (Part of the secret is to enter the maximum number of quilts allowed.)    

      Our house has lots of quilts on beds, tables, and most of the walls.  For the first quilts I made, I paid a long-arm professional to quilt.  Now, I do most of my own quilting and feel like they are truly my work. I’ve made my share of Head Start and hospice quilts, enjoyed many classes, and made many friends.  


Through the years I’ve served as Sergeant at Arms, Vice President and President of Disconnected Piecers Quilt Guild.  As a guild, we have grown in numbers and have kept broadening our horizons.  I would like to believe that I, too, have grown through my experiences and friendships with DPQG.